The Daily CCO: The Rumors are Flying and the Cubs are Talking

The buzz around baseball is focused on Jon Lester, David Price and Cole Hamels. The Red Sox are getting “hit hard” on Jon Lester according to Ken Rosenthal and Boston is open to trading both Lester and John Lackey for “the right return.” The Dodgers, Brewers, Pirates, Mariners and Cardinals have been connected to the southpaws, but it is unclear if the red-hot Rays are going to move David Price.

On the Cubs’ front, teams are sniffing around Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell, and deals for at least those two players could be made prior to Thursday’s deadline (3:00pm CDT).

The Cubs made a trade Monday with the Dodgers and sent Darwin Barney and cash to Los Angeles for a PTBNL or cash. The Dodgers picked up $500,000 of the roughly $800,000 left owed to Barney for this season.

PrintJon Heyman reiterated Monday the Cubs will likely keep players such as Justin Ruggiano and Chris Coghlan and not trade the two outfielders. The Cubs “rebuffed inquires by the Yankees and others for outfielder Justin Ruggiano and also are expecting to keep the rejuvenated Chris Coghlan.” But Jayson Stark reported Ruggiano is a likely option for the Yankees. And the Cubs are looking to trade Nate Schierholtz, but that deal might have to wait until August.

Teams remain interested in both lefty relievers, James Russell and Wesley Wright.

The Cubs “are at least as active as most teams in discussion as they near the trade deadline Thursday with several players still available” according to a report from the Sun-Times. And the front office could make a few deals prior to the deadline but maybe not as many as was expected earlier in the month.

James Russell

The Braves, Orioles, Nationals, Blue Jays and Rays have James Russell on their lists of targets for the bullpen and Mark Gonzales indicated the Dodgers were at Wrigley on Monday night to scout Russell. The Dodgers are looking for another lefty for their pen.

James Russell told the Sun-Times he would like a shot at starting again if he is not traded. Russell thinks he could be a starter and has talked to the front office about the possibility according to the report.

Emilio Bonifacio

According to a report from Mark Gonzales, add the Giants to the list of teams interested in Emilio Bonifacio. Gonzales reported Bonifacio “has attracted the interest of the Giants” to fill a hole at second base.

Several teams are believed to be interested in Bonifacio, including the Royals and Blue Jays. With the recent slide, it is doubtful the Reds would be interested in trading for Bonifacio at this point.

Other Rumors

The Mariners, Brewers, Giants and Blue Jays had scouts at Wrigley Monday night. The Mariners continue to look at Junior Lake, but according to Mark Gonzales, the Mariners “are casting a wider net in their hopes to fortify their chances of reaching the postseason.”

The Cubs have reportedly had internal discussions about free agent to be Justin Masterson. The Indians are “very willing to move Masterson for young, controllable starting pitching” according to Jeff Passan.

According to David Kaplan, the Cubs have told teams they will not move Jake Arrieta.

Kyuji Fujikawa

Kyuji Fujikawa may be close to returning to the Cubs. The Des Moines Register reported that Fujikawa was going on the road with the I-Cubs to continue his rehab, but according to a report from the Sun-Times he could return to the Cubs as soon as the end of the week.

Rick Renteria addressed when Fujikawa could be activated from the DL prior to Monday’s game. The Cubs skipper said the team wants to make sure he is “comfortable and pain-free” and he responded well after his back-to-back outings on Saturday and Sunday.

News and Notes

According to Baseball America, in the last three drafts no team has spent more over their bonus pool than the Cubs. The Cubs have spent $1,297,500 over their bonus pool allotment.

Eli Whiteside had an impact on Monday’s game and Tsuyoshi Wada’s first win. Whiteside and John Baker discussed Wada’s tendencies and what Baker could do to make Wada comfortable on the mound. Baker and Wada went over the plan on how they would attack the Rockies and Baker kept to the game plan that allowed Wada just to pitch.

Alfonso Soriano expects to take the rest of this season off according to a report from Jon Heyman. Soriano will decide in the off-season if he wants to continue his career next season.

The Mariners are scouting players on the Cubs roster … and Jack Zduriencik is holding up the trade market throughout the game according to a report from Ken Rosenthal.

With all of the lefties the Cubs are scheduled to face over the next ten games, Junior Lake’s chance is now according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

C.J. Edwards

C.J. Edwards took the mound Monday night in Arizona for what he is hoping his last start with the AZL Cubs before he returns to the Smokies. Edwards said he felt good after the game.

C.J. Edwards allowed one run on one hit with three walks and six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. Over two outings in Arizona, Edwards has given up one run on two hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Minor News and Notes

Albert Almora (4-for-6 with a double, two RBI and three runs) and Addison Russell (4-for-6 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) went a combined 8-for-12 on Monday night with two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored in the Smokies 11-8 victory.

Addison Russell has recorded multi-hit games in four of the last five games he’s played and is batting .366/.409/.780 with two doubles, five home runs and a 1.190 OPS in his last 10 games.

Juan Carlos Paniagua had a good game for Daytona. Paniagua’s second start was much better than his first.

This Day In Cubstory

2006 – Greg Maddux beat the Cardinals 4-2 at Wrigley Field and earned career-win No. 327 in his last start in a Cubs’ uniform. Maddux walked off the field to a thunderous, standing ovation.

1998 – Cubs traded Jon Garland to the White Sox for Matt Karchner

1988 – In an 8-3 win over Kevin Gross and the Phillies in Philadelphia, Rick Sutcliffe stole home. Sutcliffe was the first pitcher to steal home since Pascual Perez in 1984. Sutcliffe was on the front end of a double steal with Mitch Webster. Sutcliffe was the first Cubs pitcher to steal home since Hippo Vaughn in 1919.

1970 – The Cubs purchased Joe Pepitone from the Astros

1968 – The Angels purchased Dennis Bennett from the Cubs

1954 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Bob Anderson

1951 – Manager Phil Cavarretta hit a pinch-hit grand slam off Robin Roberts in the seventh inning of the second game of a doubleheader against the Phillies. The Cubs swept the doubleheader 5-4 and 8-6 at Wrigley and Cavarretta drove in seven runs in the two games.

1916 – Cubs acquired Otto Knabe and Art Wilson from the Pirates for William Fischer and Frank Schulte

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Quote of the Day

"The only way of finding the limits of the possibility is by going beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
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  • Richard Hood

    Dang it Neil I am stuck on Russell as a starter now. The amount of laughing I take in one reading of an article is directly in proportion to the comprehension of the rest of the article. So now I will have to start again and skip the part about him to see if I can actually read the rest of it.

    • mutantbeast

      Nearly lost my lunch when I read JR wants to start. He cant even get stiff lefties out.

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  • Larry Schwimmer

    I wanted to share one more thought that I invite your comment on: The ridiculous contracts being given out to players!!! Take a look at the Phillies contract with Papelbon. It’s not only super expensive (4-yrs $50 mil), but it gives him total control (he’ll decide which team he’ll approve as a trade; they must be a clear contender and he must be assured that he’ll be the “closer.”)

    Now if you’re a player that’s good stuff. But it’s a nightmare if you’re a team out of contention like the Phillies. My point: THEO realizes that these are NOT the kind of contracts you want to negotiate with players. I agree.

    Enough is enough. The players are running the asylum. I think it’s great for baseball players and bad for baseball. The insanity should stop.

    • cc002600

      I think the thing that is most insane is when teams hand out mega millions for 7, 8, 9, 10 years. That is just stupid. So many things can change, and to be paying $25-$30 / year to a guy for 10 years, is just beyond insane. Ask the Yankees how that worked out with AROD. Dumbest contract I have ever seen. Now look at Fielder’s contract. and Pujols. or even Votto ‘s contract. Crazy.

      • mutantbeast

        Any GM that gives out a Kershaw/Cano contract ought to be fired. Common sense is definitely lacking.

    • BigJonLilJon

      I agree and I think Theo does also. That’s why its been his policy to not include no trade clauses to any one. Even Shark.

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      That’s fine but then we cannot complain when front line pitchers sign somewhere else

  • BigJonLilJon

    Wow.. Didn’t know Russell wanted to become a starter. Not sure that he could??
    Bonifacio has to go. Isnt he on a yr deal? He has no place on this team next year any way with Baez and Mendy et al around. And how can the Cubs be in on Masterson? They don’t have the controllable pitching the Indians want back, and he would be a FA at end of this year. That one makes no sense to me. Also, I am wondering just how much they will let Edwards pitch before simply shutting him down for the year?? My rumblings…

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I think were more in on Masterson as a FA. But not certain, just my guess.

    • Denver Mike

      With Edwards only having thrown 26.1 IP this year, I can’t imagine there is any worry with shutting him down. While I think they will build him back slowly, I fully expect them to pitch him the rest of the year to get his innings up, and then have him pitch in the AFL to make up for lost time. I think “kid gloves” is why they held him out as long as they did, but if he is throwing from a mound I don’t think they are going to hold him back.

  • triple

    Like others here, that mention of James Russell wanting to start really stands out…. And is very laughable! Now reasonably, I can only see two scenarios going forward with how the FO will treat this situation.

    1. Trade him immediately and don’t look back. Get what you can and be happy with it.

    2. Entertain his request, stretch him out and let him start. It may feel like putting another nail (during each start) n the coffin that is this season as we put the rebuild to rest this year, and just might help in jumping the Astros two very early draft picks and secure the top pick in the draft. I say do it, after all doesn’t that give us the best opportunity for top young talent?

  • Ray Koenig

    Would like to see Lake off the 25 man roster.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Russel starting? Can there be a LOOGY starter?

    Glad to hear Arietta is off the table. Of course if someone wows them with a huge offer then you’d have to listen. But make it clear it would have to be bigger than the Shark/Hammel deal even.

    • cubtex

      Do you really think a team will give up a top 10 prospect in all of baseball for Jake Arrieta?

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Probably not, no. But if I were Theo that’s what it would require.

        And I would imagine that there are GM’s that think Arietta is a better get than Shark. Younger, more control, less attitude and desire to break the bank “to help future negotiations.”

        Personally if I were building a team for the next 5 years, and you offered me Arietta or Shark. I would say Arietta before you could blink. And I’m sure you or others can throw all kinds of stats, etc. But I think Arietta will become a better pitcher than Shark ever will, and he’s younger and seems pretty laid back.

        • BigJonLilJon

          I would agree if we were looking at results and the contract numbers. He has the potential to be close to Shark performance wise. If he takes less $$$$, I am definitely on board.

      • cubtex

        I would read Tito’s book. I would buy Theo a Sbx gift card, and admit to you that Theo is the greatest gm in history of baseball if that were to happen. Look at Arrieta’s IP. He is not durable and is extremely inconsistent.

        2010 100.1 IP
        2011 119.1
        2012 114
        2013 75.1
        2014 91

        If you build your rotation around this guy you better have a ton of bullpen arms. Shark is durable and strong and will give you a ton of innings. Arrieta hasn’t even thrown 120 IP in the majors for a season

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          No he hasn’t. But he will. He’s finally got it figured out and his best years are ahead of him. IMO. He’s going to be a great #2 type guy for the next 5-7 years.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          No he hasn’t. But he will. He’s finally got it figured out and his best years are ahead of him. IMO. He’s going to be a great #2 type guy for the next 5-7 years.

        • Rational Logic

          Does that include Minor League innings?

        • Tony_H

          Whose building a rotation around Arrieta. He said if he was building a team for the next 5 years and had a choice between Arrieta and Samardzija, he would take Arrieta. That a choice of 2 players, not who the rotation would be built around.

          • cubtex

            Shark or Arrieta? OK. Get 3 better pitchers than Arrieta and I am on board with rider. A little play on words

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Indeed. I think Arietta COULD become a Cy Young type pitcher. But as of now I prefer him as my #2. And as others on here have convinced me, on a WS team if feel better with him as my 3. But in 2 years, who knows? He has the talent to become the best pitcher in baseball. As do several guys. But he’s one of them.

      • Denver Mike

        No

      • BigJonLilJon

        And that’s why he is off the table.

    • jtrain23

      Hey, why not? If the Cubs do not trade him and he wants to stretch out for longer innings, then give him some starts in spring training. It would give Russell some incentive to work hard this offseason. If it doesn’t work, then you are no worse off than you are now.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        You know J. That’s probably the smartest thing any of us have said regarding this. Why not? At least let him try if that is his desire. Make it clear that he will have next ST to prove what he can do so come ready. Certainly no downside at this point.

        But make sure he understands, we are prepping for serious success starting slowly next year and being at stride in 2016. If he wants to start in Chicago he will have to really be good. Otherwise back to LOOGY.

  • AaronOR

    Hey I see Mike Olt is 2-2 tonight bringing his average to .348. Why don’t they send Junior Lake down to get on track?